Seniors honored at scholarship ceremony
by Patty Unruh
The members of Gilpin High School’s graduating Class of 2018 will be starting their futures with an estimated $456,158 in scholarship money. The funds come from local contributors and from colleges that the young men and women will be attending. The students were awarded last Wednesday evening, May 16, at a program that included the school’s second annual capping ceremony.
Secondary Principal Alexis Donaldson welcomed the students, family members, and scholarship presenters. She noted that the awards program was a tradition that began about seven or eight years ago.
“It’s nice to have the extra evening to kick off the weekend’s graduation to recognize our students’ hard work and to thank the people who are giving the big bucks,” she said.
School counselor Kim Cobb began by announcing the non-monetary awards for honor roll. The Eagle Honor Roll, for those earning a grade point average of 3.0 to 3.49, went to Chris Burtschi, Aspen Cowles, Tristan Froio, Manny Gomez, Lauryn Parkhurst, and Trystin Swan. The Principal’s Honor Roll, for those with a GPA of 3.5 to 3.99, was awarded to Jack Ball, Austin Boulter, Carly Johnson, Cicely Lepro, and Aspen Nadeau. Those earning a GPA of 4.0 or higher received the Superintendent’s Honor Roll award: Katelyn Armstrong, Alex Martin, Connor Smith, and Josh Trujillo.
The seniors also earned several awards for excellence in various subjects and activities, such as advanced placement calculus and biology, Spanish 3, World Language Day, literature, psychology, and three-sport participation.
Cicely Lepro was the recipient of the “Touching Hearts through Athletics 2018” award, reported Athletic Director Jeff Schuessler. That distinction went to Lepro for her sportsmanship and leadership as a student athlete.
Also recognized were Josh Trujillo for representing Gilpin at the state wrestling tournament and Jack Ball for running at the state track meet last weekend.
Scholarship presenters included Central City’s Promise Program; Anne Buzbee Skewes for the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Good Citizen Award; Mike Schick for the Central City Elks Lodge, Ralph Calabrese, and Colorado Elks Club scholarships; Rebecca Blondo for the Central City Lady Elks; Ryan and Hannah Raynes for the first ever theatre scholarship; Joe Tinucci for Z Casino’s first scholarship; Mary Lorenz and Sandy Oliver for the Gilpin Booster Club scholarships; Mary Lorenz for the Alan Green Memorial Foundation; Brian Watts for the Ben Slinger Honorary Scholarship; Craig Holmes for the Gilpin Education Foundation Scholarship; and Melissa Greiner and Alderman Linda Armbright for the City of Black Hawk Scholarships.
Melissa Greiner, the City of Black Hawk’s City Clerk and Administrative Services Director, noted that since the inception of Black Hawk’s scholarship program, over $861,000 has been awarded to graduates of Gilpin County High School, including $132,000 for the class of 2018. Every graduate of Gilpin High School qualifies for the award.
The program culminated with the capping ceremony. This new tradition started with the Class of 2017 and involved each senior taking the stage to say a few words about a person who had been special in their lives. That person accompanied the senior and placed the mortarboard on his or her head. “My mom” was the person most often chosen “because I love her … she helped me be the best I can be … she taught me how to be a man … she taught me to work hard … I wouldn’t be here without her – she nagged me to success!”
Other important people included best friends, an aunt, a coach, dads, sisters, someone who was like a second mom, and recognition of a grandfather who had passed away.
Gilpin’s seniors received the following awards:
Katelyn Armstrong – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Daughters of the American Revolution $300; Ralph Calabrese $500; Booster Club Academics $500; Alan Green Foundation $2,500; Ben Slinger Scholarship $1,000; Central City Elks $500; Provost’s Gold Scholarship from Baylor University $64,000. Total – $75,300. Katelyn will attend Baylor University and major in pre-med.
Jack Ball – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Colorado Christian University scholarship $32,000. Total – $38,000. Jack will attend Colorado Christian University and major in business.
Faith Bloom – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Faith plans to do humanitarian work overseas with Youth with a Mission.
Austin Boulter – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Lady Elks Club $750; Booster Club Athletic $500; Alan Green Memorial $2,500; Gilpin Education Foundation $1,500; Central City Promise Program $20,000; the University of Colorado-Boulder $27,000. Total – $58,250. Austin will attend CU Boulder and major in business administration and finance.
Devyn Braning – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Colorado Elks Club $500; Lady Elks Club $750; Z’s Casino $1,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $500; Regis University $32,600. Total – $41,350. Devyn will attend Regis University and major in nursing.
Christopher Burtschi – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Colorado Elks Club $500; Booster Club Athletic $500. Total – $7,000. Chris will attend Adams State and play lacrosse, with a major as yet undecided.
Aspen Cowles – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks $500. Total – $6,500. Aspen will attend Red Rocks Community College and major in culinary arts.
Moises Espinosa – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Moises plans to work as a master mechanic.
Alexis Finlayson – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Alexis will attend Elite Cosmetology in California.
Tristan Froio – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Tristan will attend Metro State University and major in management with a concentration in supply chain operations.
Manuel Gomez – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Manny is currently pursuing the Army Reserves. He will attend Red Rocks Community College and major in the nursing field.
John Immordino – City of Black Hawk $6,000. John will attend Red Rocks Community College and major in the medical field.
Carly Johnson – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $1,500; Theatre Scholarship $250; Booster Club Arts $500; Ben Slinger Honorary $1,000; Kansas University Achievement Scholarship $44,308. Total – $53,558. Carly will attend Kansas University and major in sports journalism.
Cicely Lepro – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $500; Alan Green Memorial Foundation $2,500; University of Hawaii Merit $8,000. Total – $17,000. Cicely will attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa and major in business marketing/sales.
Alexandra Martin – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Gilpin Education Foundation $500. Total – $6,500. Alex will attend Red Rocks Community College and major in psychology.
Aspen Nadeau – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks – $500; Gilpin Education Foundation $1,000; Ft. Lewis Merit $16,000. Total – $23,500. Aspen will attend Ft. Lewis College and major in biology.
Lauryn Parkhurst – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks $500. Total $6,500. Lauryn will attend Red Rocks Community College and major in animation and film.
Lilia Silverman – City of Black Hawk $6,000. Lilia plans to pursue the field of music and audio production.
Conner Smith – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks $500. Total – $6,500. Conner will attend Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs and major in the field of science.
Justin Stundon – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Otero Rodeo $10,000. Total – $16,000. Justin will attend Otero Junior College.
Trystin Swan – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Central City Elks $500. Total – $6,500. Trystin will attend Metro State and major in broadcast journalism.
Joshua Trujillo – City of Black Hawk $6,000; Booster Club Academic $500; Alan Green Memorial $2,500; Gilpin Education Foundation $2,500; Mines Medal Scholarship $4,000; President’s Undergraduate $10,000; Mines CO Scholars $26,200. Total – $51,700. Josh will attend the Colorado School of Mines and major in mechanical engineering.